SS Gyōkū Maru

  • Empire Dragon (1941–42)
  • Gyōkū Maru (1942–44)
  • Ministry of War Transport (1941–42)
  • Japanese Government (1942–44)
Port of registry: Japan Japan
Builder: Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co Ltd
Launched: 6 December 1941
Completed: 1942
Out of service: 18 September 1944
Fate: Torpedoed and sunk
General characteristics
Class and type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 6,854 GRT
Length: 430 ft (130 m)
Beam: 57 ft (17 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion steam engine
Location where Gyōkū Maru was torpedoed and sunk off China.

Gyōkū Maru (暁空丸) was a 6,854 GRT cargo ship that was built in 1941 as Empire Dragon by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co Ltd, Hong Kong for the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). She was seized by the Japanese in 1942 and completed as Gyōkū Maru, serving until September 1944 when she was torpedoed and sunk by USS Thresher in the Yellow Sea.


The ship was built in 1941 by Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock Co Ltd, Hong Kong.[1]

The ship was 430 feet (130 m) long, with a beam of 57 feet (17 m).[2] She was assessed at 6,854 GRT.[1]

The ship was propelled by a triple expansion steam engine.[1]


Empire Dragon was launched on 6 December 1941.[1] In 1942,[2] she was seized by the Japanese in an incomplete state and completed as Gyōkū Maru.[1]

On 22 August 1944, she was part of Convoy Namo 103 carrying evacuating civilians from Okinawa and attacked by USS Bowfin. The fellow ship Tsushima Maru was sunk, but Gyōkū Maru escaped.[3]

On 18 September 1944, Gyōkū Maru was torpedoed and sunk by USS Thresher in the Yellow Sea (35°02′N 124°24′E / 35.033°N 124.400°E / 35.033; 124.400).[2][4]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Mitchell, W.H.; Sawyer, L.A. (1995). The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press Ltd. p. not cited. ISBN 1-85044-275-4.
  2. 1 2 3 "EMPIRE – D – E". Mariners. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  3. "Tsushima Maru Sinking". USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  4. 船舶輸送間における遭難部隊資料(陸軍) [Data on disaster units during ship transport (Army)] (in Japanese). Demobilization Agency Second Demobilization Department (復員庁第二復員局). 1946. p. 17/50 of scanned image. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
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